This year I decided to give friends and family these really neat "Cookie in a Jar" gifts. They were not difficult to make at all and made a wonderful, homemade gift.
You will need:
1 -1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup holiday red & green M&M's. (or you could use any color of M&M's...pink for Valentines day, etc)
1/2 cup Reese's Peanut butter baking pieces (oops forgot to get them in the picture!)
12/ cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts or chopped pecans.
1 quart sized glass jar with lid.
Some ribbon, holiday colored computer paper, scissors, red or green material, double sided tape, labels or whatever you want to decorate your finished jars with.
Mix the baking soda and salt in with your flour. Put your ingredients into separate containers.
Layer in your jar the following ingredients, adding each ingredient one at a time in the following order: Flour with baking soda & salt, brown sugar, M&M's, Reese's Peanut butter pieces, Coconut, and peanuts. A funnel comes in real handy here. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle and even each layer before adding the next one. You can use a small ladle or spoon to pack each layer slightly but don't go overboard or you will have too much space at the top when you are done.
When you are done your jar should look like this. Don't those layers look pretty?
Next comes the fun part, decorating your Cookies in a Jar gift! I just used a large red holiday table cloth that I found for only $4.50 (and there is plenty there to do several years worth of these gifts!) I cut out 6" X6" squares for my jars which I secured over the lid and under the lid ring. (Or you could just secure it over the whole lid with a rubber band if you like that look better.) I used the double sided tape to help attach a pretty green ribbon bow around the lid as well but you could decorate these any way you like, that is part of fun!
Don't forget to print off the following baking instructions on a label or piece of colorful paper to attach to the jar! I printed it off on green computer paper, cut out with a decorative edge scissor, punched a hole in the top of the label and attached to the jar, hanging with a small piece of ribbon.
1. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, softened, with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in one egg and one teaspoon vanilla until combined. Stir in contents of jar until combined, knead if necessary.
2. Drop by 2 tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press down to flatten.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Let set on cookie sheet one minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Makes about 20 cookies.
I made a batch of these cookies at home too (shown here mixed up before baking) and they are delicious. If you like chocolate and peanut butter you will like these! I made about 7 of these gifts and figured they cost me about $7 a jar but that is not counting that I still have a lot of red material, some ribbon and lots of double sided tape left for other projects! I also bought the jars new, but I know a lot of you already have these at your house. I loved making and giving these away and I think they made much nicer and more meaningful gifts than I could have found at Wal-Mart for $7!
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